Doctoral programs in American Political Science are disciplinary, not individual. Graduate admissions to American universities are managed by departmental committees. Typically applicants complete an extensive form, take several standardized tests (arrangements for which must be planned several months in advance, especially when applying from abroad), and submit a sample of written work and confidential letters of recommendation.
The form is received by the committee -- most deadlines are in early January -- and read along with others. Most good graduate programs in Political Science receive applications from more than ten times as many individuals as can be admitted, so the process is extremely competitive. Individual faculty members usually have little or no control over the process, unless they happen to be members of the admissions committee (even there decisions are usually made by consensus).
该表格由委员会收到 - 大部分截止日期是1月初 - 并与其他人一起阅读。政治科学中大多数优秀的研究生课程的入学申请人数是入学人数的十倍以上，因此这一过程极具竞争力。个别教师通常很少或根本无法控制这个过程，除非他们恰好是招生委员会的成员(即使决策通常是以协商一致方式做出的)。
Beyond this, American graduate education in the social sciences is not based on working with a single professor, but rather on taking a series of required and elective graduate courses over a two or three-year period, leading up to a battery of comprehensive written examinations administered by the department as a whole, followed by oral examinations on dissertation topics, and so on.
American Political Science is very disciplinary in its orientation: students are expected to master thediscipline as defined by a wide range of faculty. Typically students only begin working with individual faculty members as principal advisors in the third year of their graduate education, as they prepare to write a dissertation.